Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Anonymous, LLC

January 20, 2020

Exposing anonymous companies could cut down on crime, but the firms and governments that help disguise their ownership (looking at you, Delaware) and the wealthy who claim to need them are blocking efforts at disclosure. a TED-Ed video by Global Witness, animated by Kozmonot Animation Studio.

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AU Grad Student Lands Government Job

November 21, 2019

AU Grad Student Lands Government Job

Former American University graduate student Maria Butina, following a post-grad stint in U.S. federal prison and deported back to her native Siberia, may have a new job with the Russian government. The former NRA and GOP sweetheart has been offered a berth at the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russia Federation. Perhaps she will focus on Russians imprisoned abroad for gun crimes.

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Family Foundation Fraudsters Fined, Get Schooled

November 13, 2019

Trump Family Foundation Fraudsters Fined, Get Schooled

Donald Trump will pay $2 million in fines for misusing Trump Foundation charity funds to futher his own political ends, pay business debts, and buy a 6-foot-tall portrait of himself for $10,000. New York County Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ordered that the fine and the remaining assets of the defunct foundation, $1.7 million, will be disbursed to legitimate charities: the Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, United Negro College Fund, United Way of National Capital Area, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Foundation directors Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump have been sentenced to re-education camp, and will take classes in how honest board members govern a legitimate nonprofit organization. Papa Trump is exempt from education, either because he’s president, too old to learn, or possibly due to bone spurs.

More:

“Trump Ordered to Pay $2 Million to Charities for Misuse of Foundation,” Alan Feuer, New York Times

“Trump learns that fake charities are tons of fun until you get caught,” Kathleen Parker, Washington Post

Update:

“Trump Pays $2 Million Fine for Abusing His Own Charity,” Adam K. Raymond, New York Magazine

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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GOP-Boosting NRA Member Maria Butina Deported to Siberia

October 28, 2019

GOP-Boosting NRA Member Maria Butina Deported to Siberia

After spending 15 months at Florida’a least-luxurious resort, Trump Doral Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution, the NRA Lifetime Member, unregistered Russian foreign agent, AU grad student, and GOP sexy-time associate Maria Butina was deported to Russia, landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport en route to her hometown, Siberia’s Barnaul. At this time we cannot confirm the deportation and Siberian exile of Butina’s US pals, who include GOP operative Paul Erickson, Trump campaign aide J.D. Gordon, NRA officials David Keene and Peter Brownell, and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump May Pardon Rod Blagojevich

August 9, 2019

Trump May Pardon Rod Blagojevich

President Donald Trump is again considering  commuting the prison sentence of one-time Celebrity Apprentice contestant and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the incarcerated Chicago Democrat who tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat after the 2004 election. “Blago,” a devoted Elvis fan, is probably all shook up. He’s serving a 14-year sentence and is scheduled to do the Jailhouse Rock until May 2024.

More:

“After Strongly Suggesting He May Commute Blagojevich’s Sentence, Trump Says Matter Is Under Review,” Maggie Haberman, New York Times

“Trump, getting facts wrong, says he may free Blagojevich,” Michael Tarm, Associated Press

“Jared Kushner urged Trump to pardon disgraced Illinois governor to appeal to Democrats: report,” Travis Gettys, Salon

 

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Epstein: ‘many of them are on the young side’

July 19, 2019

“Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” — Donald Trump, on sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, 2002.

More:

“Trump called Epstein a ‘terrific guy’ who enjoyed ‘younger’ women before denying relationship with him,” David A. Fahrenthold, Beth Reinhard and Kimberly Kindy, Washington Post

“Epstein Arrest Is a Worry for Donald Trump,” Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg

“Watch: Donald Trump parties in 1992 with now-accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, pats woman’s rear end,” Dan Mangan, CNBC

“Behind the scenes the night Trump partied at Mar-a-Lago with Jeffrey Epstein and NFL cheerleaders,” By Rosalind S. Helderman and, Washington Post

“Jeffrey Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Powerful Welcomed Him Anyway.” David A. Fahrenthold, Beth Reinhard and Kimberly Kindy, New York Times

“The pressure on a prosecutor: How Epstein’s wealth and power steered Acosta toward lenient deal,” Marc Fisher, Devlin Barrett and Kimberly Kindy, Washington Post

“Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained,” Jane Coaston and Anna North, Vox

“Jeffrey Epstein: how US media – with one star exception – whitewashed the story,”Ed Pilkington, Guardian

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Anti-Trafficking Watchdog Gave a Pass to Rich Sex Trafficker

July 11, 2019

Anti-Trafficking Watchdog Gave a Pass to Rich Sex Trafficker

In 2008, when Alexander Acosta was U.S. Attorney in Miami, he arranged a sweetheart deal for wealthy sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, who targeted underaged girls. Mr. Alexander is now U.S. Secretary of Labor, the Trump cabinet official charged with preventing human trafficking, a stated priority for President Trump.

As Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta has tried to cut his agency’s anti-trafficking program by 80 percent. Now Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested on new sex trafficking charges in New York.

Updates:

“Acosta out as Labor secretary as Epstein child sex scandal engulfs White House,” John T. Bennett, The Hill

“Acosta to Resign as Trump’s Labor Secretary Over Epstein Plea Deal,” Annie Karni and Eileen Sullivan, New York Times

“Trump labor secretary Alex Acosta resigns amid Epstein plea deal scandal,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

“Alex Acosta is the 5th Trump Cabinet member to leave thanks to a personal scandal,” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

More:

“Acosta defends wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal, says Epstein would’ve had no jail time if his office had not intervened,” Kimberly Kindy, Felicia Sonmez, Ashley Parker, and Seung Min Kim, Washington Post

“Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has no good answer for cushy Jeffrey Epstein plea deal,” Anna North, Vox

“How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime,” Julie K. Brown, Miami Herald

“Trump’s Labor Secretary Once Helped a Billionaire Child Rapist Hide His Crimes,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Ex-Palm Beach attorney blasts Alex Acosta over Epstein criticism,” Ben Feuerherd, NY Post

Related:

“Trump praises Acosta,who faces growing calls to resign over earlier Epstein case,” John Wagner and Lisa Rein, Washington Post

“NYPD let convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein skip judge-ordered check-ins,” Elizabeth Rosner, Tina Moore, Larry Celona and Bruce Golding, NY Post

“Barr won’t recuse from Epstein prosecution but will remain uninvolved in any review of past plea deal,” Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“House panel requests Acosta’s testimony on Epstein’s 2008 plea deal,” Orion Rummler, Axios

“The Department of Labor Is Making It Harder for Trafficking Victims to Get Protection,” Isabela Dias, Pacific Standard

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Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

June 13, 2019
Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

   GUILTY OF SERIAL HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to the White House on Thursday recommending that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway “be removed from federal service” for repeatedly using her official position for political purposes, violations of the Hatch Act:

“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”

“Nyah, nyah, nyah,” responded Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves. The OSC does not have legal authority to remove a presidential appointee like Ms. Conway, but would have booted a career federal official long before this point. OSC had reprimanded Ms. Kelly over ethics concerns starting in 2017, and for multiple Hatch Act violations in 2018 and 2019. The Special Counsel of OSC is Trump-nominated investigator Henry Kerner. During the first year of the Trump Administration, Hatch Act violation compliants to the OSC rose 30 percent.

Attention lawyers: How many public ethics violations does an attorney need to commit before she’s disbarred?

More:

“Special counsel: Kellyanne Conway violated Hatch Act, should be removed,” Nicholas Sakelaris, UPI

“Kellyanne Conway Should Be Fired For Violating Ethics Law, Oversight Office Says,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

“Federal agency recommends that Kellyanne Conway be removed from service,” Anita Kumar, Politico

“Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act,” Felicia Sonmez, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Updates:

“Trump says he won’t fire Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violations,” John Wagner and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post

“Nobody Will Need To Respect The Rule Of Law After The Trump Administration,” Elie Mystal, Above The Law

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Otisville Vacation

May 7, 2019

Otisville Vacation

Business Notice:

Michael Cohen, Esq., former Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, is relocating to the federal enclave at Otisville NY, in leafy Orange County, for a 3-year residency. Please refer all future Donald Trump obstruction of justice proposals to William P. Barr, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001.

More:

“Michael Cohen, by Turns Lawyer and Witness, Becomes an Inmate,” Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess and William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

“As Cohen heads to prison, Trump is ensnared in more questions about possible illegal behavior,” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“Hundreds of former prosecutors say Trump would’ve been charged with obstruction if he weren’t president,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

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Image (“Portrait of a Trump Lawyer”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

April 26, 2019

Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

On  Friday, Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced admitted Russian spy Maria Butina to 18 months in prison. “I am deeply embarrassed,” said Ms. Butina.

The former American University grad student pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation, and seeking to influence U.S. conservative politicians through the National Rifle Association.It’s a salacious spy story of sex, guns, money, and the National Prayer Breakfast, and it’s packed with oligarchsRepublicanslobbyistsTreasury officials and Kremlin connections, a saga spanning the globe from Siberia to South Dakota. Her older American lover, Paul Erickson, a GOP fundraiser and NRA supporter, is charged with fraud and money laundering in a separate case.

Ms. Butina, deemed a flight risk, has been imprisoned since her indictment in July. We hope she will be able to continue with her Tai Chi in prison.

More:

“Maria Butina, Russian who conspired to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups, sentenced to 18 months,” Spencer S. Hsu and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Russian Agent Maria Butina Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison: ‘I Destroyed My Own Life,’” Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast

“Maria Butina is not a Russian spy, but a ‘spotter’: DOJ revives intrigue over gun rights activist,” Kristine Phillips, USA Today

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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